Leadership in Geriatric Nursing

Wednesday, 15 July 2009: 4:05 PM

Mary Rita Hurley, RN, MPA
International Leadership Institute, Sigma Theta Tau International, Indianapolis, IN
Deborah Cleeter, RN, MSN, EdD
Sawgrass Leadership Institute, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Learning Objective 1: discuss the purpose and programmatic components of the Geriatric Nursing Leadership Academy (GNLA) and the collaboration between STTI and the John A. Hartford Foundaton.

Learning Objective 2: discuss strategies to develop geriatric nursing leaders in practice, administration, education, and research.

Purpose: With a grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) created an innovative mentorship program to develop leadership skills for individuals involved in geriatric care.  Additionally, the program develops skills that lead to the promotion of health policies for the geriatric population in diverse and global health care settings.
Methods: The GNLA is an intensive 18 month mentored leadership program. The GLNA Fellow-Mentor dyads are comprised of academicians and clinical geriatric experts.  Faculties representing the original five Hartford Centers of Geriatric Nursing Excellences provide expertise and guidance throughout the program.  Individual leadership knowledge transfer and practice evidence-based clinical experiences are expected of the participants. The curriculum draws from many disciplines with a goal of promoting nurse-led interprofessional teams.
Results: To integrate the curriculum into the participant's personal leadership journey, Cohort A participants are currently completing such projects as maintaining a reflection journal; participating in an on-line community for support, discussion, and debate; and developing an evidence-based clinical project to address a geriatric nursing issue in their practice setting/community. Current projects include Nursing Leadership and Gerontological Knowledge: Key to Quality Nursing Home Care; A Voice for Older Adults: Promoting the Role of the Nurse in Assisted Living; Geriatric Resource Nurse Model; and Alternatives to Personal Alarm Systems in Long Term Care.
Conclusion: With continued growth in the geriatric population globally, nurses need to be the leaders in practice, education, administration, research, and health care policy development/ implementation. As the older adult population grows, the number of geriatric advanced practice nurses is lagging behind. It is critical for STTI, the second larges nursing organization in the world, collaborating with the Hartford Foundation, whose goal is to provide effective and affordable care to a rapidly increasing older population, to be at the forefront of preparing such nursing leaders.